Archive for the ‘odesk experience’ Category

The Ups and Downs of Making a Living Writing

Making a Living Writing takes dedication and patience

I’m really bummed because I haven’t been able to update this blog as often as I’d like since I moved it over to WordPress. I really did have plans to post more frequently, but since moving the blog, I’ve gained more new clients through oDesk, and they have kept me busy.

As all you other writers out there know, we wouldn’t be making a living writing if it weren’t for our clients, right? And my motto has always been to put my clients first. After all, they’re the ones who pay my bills, so my blog and other personal projects have to wait a little while. Putting personal projects and your blog aside for paying clients is one of the drawbacks to making a living writing.

The Advantages of Making a Living Writing

Although it can be frustrating to let personal projects sit, there are many good things for those who choose writing as their career. Other than the paychecks, here are two big positives to making a living writing:

1. Interacting with other entrepreneurs. I love working for business owners, SEO companies and bloggers, because I get to know them better. Plus sharing business advice gives us all the chance to learn from one another.

2. Staying motivated. Although I sometimes find myself lacking time to work on my own projects, most of my clients are successful, and their success and determination to reach new heights motivates me to make the time for my own projects.

What is it that you enjoy about making a living writing?

Photo courtesy of Liz West

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More on My oDesk Experience

I promised I’d keep you updated on my oDesk experience, so here it goes…

Since my latest post about oDesk, I’ve been so busy that I’ve neglected this blog and put my first niche website on hold. But that’s okay, because my income is increasing. The better news is the Lord answered another prayer of mine. Read on for more of the story… and again, oDesk is to thank!

You see, hubby and I — like many others during these tough times — have been struggling financially. As you all know, my dad has been battling two types of cancer (Lymphoma and Leukemia). Well, a couple weeks ago he came in really sick and his blood pressure kept dropping. My guess is he wasn’t eating well living on his own, so I ended up fixing him something to eat and he began to feel better. Since then, he’s moved in with us so I can make sure he’s taken care of and eats well. In addition to dad living with us, my 22-year-old stepson is still living with us, and I have my three teenagers when they’re not at their dads. The trouble is with just Kevin and me working, it has been hard with an increase on the grocery bill and utilities. Dad’s retired and now on Social Security — all he had for retirement was 401K, which isn’t much. As for my stepson, well, he’s still unemployed.

Dad does offer to help us with bills and groceries, and Kevin and I appreciate it, but I hate even asking him to help when he’s on a fixed income and still has to pay a portion of his medical bills, so I try not to accept his offer for help unless we really have to. Anyway, I’ve spent night after night praying for God to bless us with more income so we can take care of everyone and at least have just a little left over to treat ourselves to something nice every now and then.

Just a few weeks after I posted Seven Ways to Increase Clients With oDesk, God answered my prayer! He blessed me with two more clients from oDesk, and His blessing allowed me to earn an additional $91.29 this month through oDesk alone, and that income should be more by the end of next month! To some that may not sound like much, but to me, it’s a wonderful blessing! A blessing Kevin and I both needed, and I’m still praying for more.

I’m confident that oDesk will continue to increase my clients and income. Honestly, friends, if you’re also struggling financially and looking to increase your clients and writing income, I highly recommend you give oDesk a try. It will work for you if you spend each day searching through the jobs and apply the advice I shared in my latest post. The advice I shared is exactly what I’ve done since I joined oDesk in July of 2008. Since that time, I’ve earned over $500 already, and that doesn’t even include the income I earn outside of oDesk.

I’ll continue to keep you informed about my oDesk experience here, but if you’d like to know more or want to interview me for your writing-related publication, website or blog, feel free to contact me; please send all interview requests to and put “Interview Request for Misti Sandefur” in the subject line. I’d be honored to share my experience and/or advice with your readers, or even talk about how I use faith and prayer throughout my writing career!

Until my next post, take care and may all your prayers receive an answer!

Photo credit: Mike

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Seven Ways to Increase Clients With oDesk

Increase clients with oDeskBack when I first signed up for oDesk I didn’t know if they’d really help me gain new clients, but today I’m happy to report that thanks to oDesk I’ve been able to increase my clients. Not only have I gained new clients through oDesk, but I’ve gained friendly clients who have been great to work for. The clients that oDesk has blessed me with have been very helpful and provide great instructions, and this, my fellow writer friends, is something we all want with clients.

I’m sure you’re wondering how you, too, can increase your clients, and since I enjoy helping others, I’m going to share a few tips with you. These are the things I do to increase clients with oDesk. Remember, oDesk guarantees payment on all hourly jobs!

Seven Simple Ways to Increase Clients With oDesk

1. Check writing job listings daily. If you don’t want to visit the oDesk site on a daily basis, you can subscribe to be notified of new listings via e-mail, or use the search feature on your left to search for the jobs you want, and then subscribe to the RSS feeds for each search you perform.

2. Apply for jobs that only pay by the hour. This guarantees that you’ll be paid for your time and work.

3. Create and save a pre-written cover letter on your hard or flash drive. Then when you run across a writing job you want to apply for, edit your pre-written cover letter to match the writing job your applying for, and then follow oDesk’s steps to submit that cover letter to the potential client.

4. Use your best clips on your oDesk profile,and update every so often with more recent clips.

5. Post your resume on your oDesk profile, along with any client testimonials.

6. Follow up with potential clients who requested an interview but never got back to you.

7. Take the free oDesk skills tests, and when you score high, make the results public so potential clients can see you really do have the experience you say you have.


While oDesk has been making improvements, there are still a few things I believe they could improve. For one, if you’re writing in Microsoft Word or researching (reading through information), the software that tracks providers’ hours doesn’t always log the time as “online.” Instead, it logs it as “offline,” and pay for “offline” time is not guaranteed. I guess it logs it as “offline” time because it considers you idle since you’re just reading and not typing. That said, if oDesk could improve this, it would be great!

Finally, there’s no guaranteed payment for fixed-price jobs. Personally, I don’t understand how oDesk can guarantee their providers payment on hourly jobs and not fixed-price jobs. Although I’m already grateful to oDesk, they would earn my respect more if they’d change this policy.

Rest assured that this won’t be my last post about my success with oDesk, because I plan to continue sharing my oDesk experience with you. To stay up-to-date with my oDesk experience, subscribe to my full RSS feeds or opt-in to receive free updates via e-mail.

Do you use oDesk to increase clients? Feel free to share your oDesk experience in the comments area.

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Gain More Writing Jobs at oDesk

Just recently I signed up as an oDesk provider, and even though I haven’t landed a writing job just yet, I had one interview last night. I understand that it may take a little time to land some new writing jobs because I’ve not been a member long, but so far, I love the system. In fact, the thing I love the most–other than it being free–is payment is guaranteed if I bid on the hourly jobs. All buyers must have a verified payment method before they can hire you. You’ll also have to download the oDesk software that lets those who hire you track your hours and see that you truly are working on their project and not just surfing the web and charging them for it.

If you’d like to gain more writing jobs and not have to worry whether you’ll get paid or not, sign up for oDesk today. Again, it’s free to sign up. Furthermore, there’s a great selection of choices for receiving payment (Paypal, direct deposit, oDesk debit card and more).

Do let me know if you sign up or are already a member.

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